Mother gets 13 years for son's drug overdose

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 32-year-old Jacksonville woman who pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child was sentenced Thursday to 13 years in prison.

In May 2011, Angel Gust's 3-year-old son, Logan Gust, died as a result of a drug overdose.

Angel Gust was the boy's primary caretaker while his father was deployed overseas with the Navy.

The investigation revealed that Logan had been prescribed a small dosage of Clonidine to help treat oppositional defiant disorder. Rather than providing him with the proper dosage, Gust gave her son an excessive amount of medication, ultimately causing his death.

Prosecutors said she never told rescuers at the scene about the medicine.

"Did she mention anything about Clonidine, anything about giving him too many pills, or pills or anything?" prosecutor Rich Mantei said. "No, not a word. She elected not to tell the truth right then at the moment it mattered most."

At the sentencing hearing, the defense called character witnesses, including Gust's ex-husband, the boy's father, her own father, brother and sister.

Defense lawyers said Gust has suffered because of the tragedy and asked the judge for probation.

"The nature of the med was a little confusing, and she suffered enough, everyone suffered enough," said Brian Townsend, Gust's younger brother. "Tegan suffered enough, Madison suffered enough. I miss my sister, my parents miss their daughter. Her going to jail or anyone else isn't going to bring anyone back. It's not going to turn back time. Everyone just needs to move on."

Gust's family was visibly upset by the sentence as they left the courtroom.

Gust and her ex-husband have two other children. Their father has custody of them.

Gust was facing up to 30 years in prison.

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